Tuesday, February 16, 2010

It seems working out isn't enough

(Note: I want to thank Fat Cyclist for his kind words and link today. Dear Fatty readers, I hope you will mingle with my current readers (all wonderful 6 of them) and enjoy your visit. Please come back now and then, and I'd love to hear from you. Thanks!)

Through the first half of this month, I've lost exactly 1 pound. 

Yep, all this exercise, and I've lost the equivalent of 2 double quarter pounders (with cheese of course) from my waistline. A little frustrating to say the least. But I know I can and will do better. And while I've promised myself no excuses about when I fail to make the progress I want, but I figure this one time won't hurt:
  1. Yesterday the wife and I went to a Japanese steakhouse for a late valentines day dinner. I tried to commit to portion control, but it's an insult to the chef if you don't clean your plate and eat your wifes leftovers. Even the bean spouts. (I'm willing to lie to make jokes, but no one eats anyone else's bean spouts).
  2. We had a house guest visiting Boston for the first time and we had to take her to Mike's Pastry
  3. We live within 10 miles of Bostons North End (aka Italian food district). It's basically the equivalent of someone coming to your house once a year with 5 pounds of spaghetti and a shotgun. You're going to eat one or the other, so I choose the pasta.
  4. My wife loves baking. I kid you not that there is a 2 layer funfetti cake with sprinkles sitting on my counter at home right now. This type of thing is a regular occurance at our house. I think baked goods multiply asexually in our kitchen when we're not around.
  5. I love sandwiches. And you've ever been to Boston, you know there's a 3:1 people to sandwich shop ratio here. 
This list could go on and on, but in the end; it's still all about me and my will power. I hadn't really gotten away from the changes that were working so well for me, but I have 12 days to get to my 10 pound goal. I want to make it! 

Today, I packed a peanut butter sandwich and a couple fiber bars. While this is the taste equivalent of watching ice dancing instead of hockey, it's the kind of choice I need to make every day.


  1. So, I live in New England, read a blog about a Fat Cyclist in the Northwest, only to be directed to a blog in... New England!!

    I had to check you out because I had a swim coach who trains clients for Timberman.

    I'd love to do it myself but I'm discovering that the true definition of "middle-age" is, "Falling apart faster than you can put yourself back together."

    Congrats on your weight loss and just hang in there!

  2. Edie - Thanks for the kind words! There's definitely a struggle to fight off injuries to keep training, but it's something I've come to enjoy: the daily challenge to work out, the daily challenge to not eat 3 donuts at dunkies every morning, etc. If you have the bug, look at maybe doing a sprint. That's where I started and I think my true calling is in shorter events. But I guess I'll find out.

  3. Hey Ben, Came over on Fatty's recommendation and wanted to wish you good luck on meeting your goals!
    Having those race events in front of you for motivation is great. For myself I have gotten away from race events to motivate me as I have really enjoyed touring on my bike these last two summers. Nothing like planning a summer tour during the long winter and training for that event.
    I agree with you about the LBS, visit and get info vis the internet, but try and shop locally!
    Good Luck! Jim

  4. Jim -

    The wife and I have talked about touring, and there's entirely the possibility of a weekend tour for us sometime after Timberman before the weather turns. We'll also try to get in some cycling on our honeymoon in London and Paris, so we'll be doing a little touring there.

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

  5. Hey Ben -

    Congrats on the Fatty mention - very cool.

    I am signed up for the Timberman HIM too - maybe I will see you there? Stay healthy training, and I am looking forward to following your blog.



  6. Mandy - Thanks. I am truly overwhelmed by the kindness of His Royal Fatness in linking me.

    We should definitely look to meet up. To me the social aspects of triathlon are a big deal, as my wife and I don't know a ton of people in Boston yet. Timberman is going to be awesome, no matter how I do. (But I am going to finish!)

  7. Ben,

    Good luck with Timberman. I raced there in 2007 and had a blast. (If you haven't done so already, get hotel reservations. The hotels around Winnipesaukee book up quickly.)

    Regarding the diet, I've been struggling to drop those last lbs before race season. (From looking at recent posts on my blog, it's easy to see why.) I saw a clever trick that helps with mindful eating at Patrick John McCrann's blog.

    Put a rubber band around your wrist. Every time you veer off your diet and eat something that isn't conducive to losing weight, move the rubber band to the other wrist. The goal is to keep the band on the same wrist for as long as possible.

    Anyway, keep up the strong work. I'm looking forward to following your progress.

  8. Sam - Thanks for the kind words and the reminder about Winnipesaukee hotels. I've been thinking about that and kept forgetting to do it.

  9. Ben, I must tell you that weight gained at a Japanese Steak House does not count!

    I always gain 2 to 3 pounds after eating at one, and lose this weight two days after eating there. I eat about the same quantity of food at one of these meals as I eat at home.

    It is all about the salt. I hardly eat salt normally. Because of all the salt (from the soy sauce) one gains water weight which will quickly come off after abstaining from a high salt diet.

    As for Donuts, you will have to find someone else who knows how not to gain weight from them.

  10. I came over from Fatty's blog too.
    Just to let you know......

  11. Another FatCyclist wheel sucker here. And a LOT heavier than fatty ever was. Except that he is famous for it and I - somehow - am not.

    Good luck with the weight loss. I am fighting the same battle, but no tri for me just riding. Training for a big event is VERY smart. It's like a built in conscience...and you hear it ticking when you reach for food. At least I do...

    I am training for the 508 (the508.com). Google that. If you are ever out West, we have a few unbelievably cool rides like that out here. The combination of the desert and the Sierras right next to each other means there is a LOT of awesome climbing to be had. Here's another:
    everestchallenge.com. Disclosure: I put on the Everest Challenge.
    Think that's too much for a big guy? We had a guy finish two years ago who used to weigh 425. FOUR TWENTY-FIVE. He lost the weight of a whole person. A whole ME, not some skinny guy.
    He finished both days, too. So I said to him a few minutes after he finished on Sunday "Look at all the thin climber types that finished way behind you!" We still laugh about that.

    The Moral: What is in your lunch matters.
    What is in your head matters more.

    Good job on the swimming!


  12. Nogo - I think you're right about the salt. Between that and the pasta monday I maintained weight for the past couple days, but I was down a pound today. Drank more water and rested up and got the salt out.

    Steve - Thanks for the kind words and encouragement. I met a guy when I was walking competitively who had gotten bypass surgery but still had to work off the pounds. he did it through walking. He was a tall dude, and he once weighed 450. Im guessing he was 250 when I met him, and he almost ALWAYS beat me in races. I finally took a walking division title from him not long before I left Columbus. Im sure he's still out there, kickin' butt!

  13. I came over from Fatty's. I don't understand how you guys up north...north of Orlando... train in the cold? It was 52* this am and I went to the dreadmill.

  14. Oldman... I have to admit, there isn't a lot of outdoor training going on up here right now for me either. I have a deadly fear of falling on a bike due to ice (or some ninja squirrel) and having it ruin my season, so i avoid riding outside from about first snowfall until March at the very earliest. I do run outside, but carefully.

    Being a big dude, 50 degrees to me is almost the optimal temperature for a run. I dont get as hot as fast and I seem to be able to balance the warm and cold pretty easily. Low 60's are also great too.